Over 40k Indians repatriated: Foreign Ministry lists achievements
The external affairs ministry has facilitated the return of more than 40,000 Indians stranded around the globe due to the Covid-19 pandemic and overseen the provision of coronavirus-related medical supplies to more than 150 countries.
The stranded Indians were repatriated in more than 230 flights and on naval warships, while Indian medical rapid response teams were also deployed to several countries to help in the fight against Covid-19.
These were among the achievements listed by the external affairs ministry during the first year of the second term of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
The advent of coronavirus-era diplomacy saw India taking the lead to organise a video conference of leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation states and the creation of the Covid-19 Emergency Fund.
More than 100 virtual diplomatic meetings have been held to share perspectives on combating the virus and tackling the post-pandemic challenges, while India has also organised Covid-19-related healthcare courses through its e-Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (e-ITEC) programme under ministry’s development partnership initiative.
Before normal diplomatic engagements were hit by the pandemic, India helped launch several projects under its “Neighbourhood First” policy, including the 720-MW Mangdechhu hydropower project in Bhutan, the Motihari-Amlekhgunj cross-border petroleum products pipeline and an integrated check post at Biratnagar for Nepal and an emergency ambulance service and cultural centre in Jaffna for Sri Lanka, among others.